Photo: DominicanRepublic.com

Book by December 24 to save! Destinations include the Dominican Republic, Riviera Maya, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica....read more»

New Year's resolutions (Photo: Index Open)

If your New Year's resolutions involve travel and saving money, Red Roof may have a deal that will help you start your year off on an inexpensive foot. The provider is offering a Nicest Price sale, where rooms at Red Roof Inns across the country will cost only $20.11 for the night of January 2, 2011....read more»

<h2>Stonecroft Country Inn, Ledyard, Connecticut</h2>
<p>The <a href="http://www.stonecroft.com"target="_blank">Stonecroft Country Inn</a>, just outside Mystic, consists of two historic properties, the 200-year-old Main House and the Grange, a converted barn. Some rooms have fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. Rates range from $135 to $329 per night and include a full breakfast. Additionally, if you book a cooking class at the inn, you'll receive 25 percent off lodging rates.</p>

(Photo: Joan Egy)

With only one week left until Christmas, here's hoping you've checked off almost everyone on your holiday shopping list. If not, and before you start the Bah Humbug blues,  BedandBreakfast.com is offering a Last-Minute Gift Card sale that even has a little something extra for you as well. Buy a gift certificate by December 23 and get a free gift card worth up to $75.  Plus, you can get free FedEx shipping to be certain your gift card arrives in time for Christmas morning....read more»

Photo: Digital Vision

If Santa can find the time to somehow make gifts for every child in the world, it only seems reasonable that Orbitz can pin down you the best hotel deals. With that said, you can save up to 50 percent on hotels around the world with the company's Winter Hotel Sale. Look for the sale sign and book by January 23 to save.

Plus, if another customer books the same hotel at a cheaper price, Orbitz will automatically refund you the difference. So, you can spend your time contemplating more important matters, such as how Ol' St. Nick can possibly fit down a chimney after eating so many cookies....read more»

Castle Howard in the fall, North Yorkshire, U.K. (Photo: britainonview, Ian Shaw)

Be treated like royalty this winter at several castles throughout the Emerald Isles....read more»

Holiday wine, cheese, and snacks (Photo: iStockphoto)

Stay jolly this season with hot cocoa, wine, and family games. Deal is valid through January 15....read more»

Instead of going tropical, go European for spring break. You'll get to experience sophisticated cities such as <a href="http://www.visitlondon.com/" target="_blank">London</a> when the number of tourists and prices for travel are low. Sample March fares for travel to London from New York start at $190, plus taxes, on <a href="http://www.aircanada.com" target="_blank">Air Canada</a>. 

(Photo: Britain On View)

Tips (and deals) for a great trip to Great Britain and beyond....read more»

Photo: PhotoDisc

As the temperature continues to drop, I find myself daydreaming of a tropical vacation more and more. The warm sand between my toes, the sound of the sea lapping gently against the shore, and the heat from the overhead sun begin to sound particularly nice when you're wondering how many pairs of long johns you can wear underneath your jeans before you start to look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Trust me, it's not many.

Thankfully, cheapcaribbean.com is currently offering a Winter Vacations Sale, with prices starting at $249 per person (without taxes and fees), or up to 75 percent savings, on tropical vacations. Most packages come with hotel, airfare, TripMate weather insurance, and a $100 coupon if it rains during your stay. Destinations include the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Cancun, Jamaica, and Dominican Republic, among others. Discounts are only available to the first 99 bookings, and the sale ends at midnight ET on Friday, December 10....read more»

<strong>The Bahamas</strong>

Only about 50 miles from Florida, the Bahamas is close-to-home with year-round temperatures averaging around 80 degrees. Diving, fishing, boating, snorkeling, and kayaking are all ways to explore the cays and lagoons filled with sea life, while golfing, shopping, and gaming are plentiful for those sticking to the land.  Historical trails and national parks, along with stellar birding opportunities, can add a cultural element to your trip.

<strong>Why It's a Good Value</strong>

U.S. dollars are accepted alongside the Bahamian dollar, so you don't need to think about currency exchange rates. Finding a reasonable fare to the Bahamas is easier now that low-cost carrier <a href="http://www.smartertravel.com/airfare/search/provider.php?provider=airtran">AirTran</a> has added service to Nassau, creating competition for <a href="http://www.smartertravel.com/airfare/search/provider.php?provider=jetblue" target="_blank">JetBlue</a>. <a href="http://www.smartertravel.com/airfare/search/provider.php?provider=delta|song">Delta</a> has expanded service to Freeport, while <a href="http://www.smartertravel.com/airfare/search/provider.php?provider=spirit">Spirit</a> also has limited service to San Salvador in addition to its Nassau and Freeport routes. WestJet began service last year between Toronto and Freeport.

Most flights arrive in either Nassau (New Providence/Paradise Island) or Freeport (Grand Bahama Island), and both areas offer affordable accommodation choices nearby, from hotels and villas to inns and resorts. You can also make connecting flights to the Out Islands from these airports, or find nearby <a href="http://www.bahamasferries.com/" target="_blank"> ferry service</a>. 

The Islands of the Bahamas official <a href="http://www.bahamas.com/bahamas/deals-packages" target="_blank">tourism site</a> has deals and packages.

<strong>Best Beaches</strong>

As an archipelago of 700 islands, there are almost too many beaches to choose from. Enjoy watersports or just a walk along the shore at Cabbage Beach on Paradise Island or explore the world's longest underground surveyed cave system across from Gold Rock Beach, part of Lucayan National Park on Grand Bahama Island.

<a href="http://www.smartertravel.com/community/?user_id=19703be16e533025b7dbb3a3449750f0-3da068076d">dee4cats</a> enjoys Treasure Cay Beach, part of The Abacos in the Bahamas, saying, "The sand is pure sugar-white ... It is very clean ... The water is so clear you can easily see sand dollars on the bottom ... This is the place to go to kick back and relax."

<a href="http://www.smartertravel.com/community/?user_id=19703be16e533025b7dbb3a3449750f0-sl37bf668c">maui2az</a>'s favorite beach is on Eleuthera, "a lovely ferry ride from Nassau. The island is a true vacation spot for those who want to get away from it all. The soft, long, wide, pink sand beach against the turquoise waters is a feast for the eyes ... Often the beach is vacant; heaven!"

(Photo: iStockphoto/javier fontanella)

With only a few weeks until Christmas, there's not a great deal of time left to find the perfect gift for your loved ones. With that in mind, you can always skip the crowded malls and hectic frenzy of last-minute sales, and instead create a memory that will last a lifetime by taking your family on a vacation. Expedia is offering a fourth-night free to Atlantis, Paradise Island, that might be an easy way to lighten your shopping load. Book a three-night stay by January 23 for travel through April 27, and you'll get one night at no additional cost. Plus, kids under 11 stay and play free when sharing a room with their parents....read more»

<h2>Fernando de Noronha, Brazil</h2>

While most Americans have never heard of it, <a href="http://www.noronha.pe.gov.br/eng/ctudo-tourism.asp" target="_blank">Fernando de Noronha</a> is regarded by many Brazilians as having the most beautiful beaches in the country&mdash;and that's saying a lot coming from a nation full of sand and sun connoisseurs. With its steep bunny-ear hills that soar up from undeveloped white and gold beaches, Fernando de Noronha might look more at home alongside Bora Bora and the other islands of French Polynesia than it does hundreds of miles from mainland Brazil. But unlike those Pacific islands, Fernando de Noronha is cheaper and easier to get to, at least from the East Coast. 

At only seven square miles, the island is easily explored by dune buggy. Pack some snorkel gear and head to beaches like Baia do Sancho and Baia dos Porcos, where you'll see sting rays, sea turtles, and a wide variety of colorful fish just feet from the shore. Without a doubt, the water surrounding the island&mdash; a national marine park&mdash;is Fernando de Noronha's top attraction. Besides snorkeling, you can experience Brazil's best scuba diving with <a href="http://www.atlantisdivers.com.br/english/default.asp" target="_blank">Atlantis Divers</a> (from about $75 for two dives) and go boating (about $25) to spot spinner dolphins and see the island's unusual rock formations up close. 

In the evenings, head to Vila dos Remedios, the island's historic heart, where you'll dance the night away to traditional Brazilian music and eat seafood al fresco at the popular and cheap Bar do Cachorro. For affordable accommodations, stay at the simple but comfortable <a href="http://www.pousadaparaisodoatlantico.com.br/i_index.htm" target="_blank">Pousada Paraiso do Atlantico</a>, where prices for double rooms start around $78 a night.

(Photo: iStockPhoto/Mihir Panchal)

The holidays seem to come earlier each year, with the sounds of the Christmas season playing on the radio just as you're getting ready to carve pumpkins, but sometimes celebrating a bit early is worth hearing Jingle Bells a few thousand times. Hotels.com is giving the gift of a Holiday Sale a little early, with 30 percent off hotels in the U.S., the Caribbean, Latin America, and Mexico. You must book by December 27, and travel by January 3. Destinations include Chicago, New York City, Saint Lucia, the Bahamas, and Brazil, among others.

Prices vary by property and travel dates. Minimum night stay may be required.  Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply....read more»

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